Adult Journal – Why Everyone Should Run (at least one) Marathon

sonyOne of my great passions in life is running. I have been running since seventh grade. I vividly remember running with my bright yellow walkman in hand, listening to my favorite Janet Jackson Rythmn Nation tape during the autumn of 1989. The music was so electrifying, it made me run at a faster clip. I used to race along the sidewalks of Medina, Ohio, past all of my friends houses’. To this day, running relaxes and soothes me. Instead of listening to Janet Jackson, now I listen to Beyonce. However, with my busy life, I will not get up to run every morning unless I am training for a marathon. Running a marathon is not as hard as you think. According to the September 2014 issue of Runners’ World Magazine, fitness should sneak up on you gradually. Push too hard, too soon, and you’ll end up injured and discouraged. But if you can stack up week after week of consistent training, you will see your fitness level go to places that you may never have thought possible. To make sure I run as consistently as possible to reap all of the benefits, I am currently training for my fifth marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon.  The three reasons why everyone should try to run at least one marathon are it helps you live longer, it prevents heart disease, and it makes you a happier person. Continue reading


August 15, 2014 · 6:36 pm

Chapter 3 – 9th Grade – Where Does My Heart Beat Now?



I just got back from Seth Clouse’s party. Oh my gosh! I had the best time. Just when I thought I had absolutely no chance with Eric Bass and almost started to get over him, he speaks to me. Now, I think I’m madly in love with him again. I know he likes Lisa Fink and I know he’s just a flirt, but still, there’s always that off chance…Nah, maybe not. But guess what? Jeremy Wilson asked me to slow dance the last two songs. Even though I don’t like him, I was really flattered! He’s a nice guy.

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Adult Journal – My Mom’s Ukrainian Immigration Story


This morning, I won “Best Speaker” at GUTS Toastmasters in Annandale, Virginia. I told the story of my mom’s immigration to the United States.

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Adult Journal – My Ukrainian Heritage

My mom and me

My mom and me, Medina, Ohio, 1980.

In 2014, Ukraine is in the news almost everyday. Will they be able to remain free and independent from Russia, or will Russia take away their sovereignty? Admittedly, I normally do not follow foreign affairs very carefully. A future as the Secretary of State? That’s not me. However, recently, I find myself voraciously reading, saving on my iPad, and re-reading every New York Times article about the protests in Ukraine, and the subsequent struggle over control of Crimea. I feel a connection with these events because my mom is a Ukrainian immigrant. I heard her immigration story so many times growing up, I took it for granted. But now, I am beginning to think about her story again in a brand new light. I find myself asking questions such as, “Did her family leave Ukraine for the same reasons there is political unrest today? How did her family immigrate legally to the U.S.? And how and when did she become a U.S. citizen?” Continue reading

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March 29, 2014 · 6:16 pm

Chapter 3 – 9th Grade – Emotions


Oh, guess what I found out in choir? Shannon Winter and James Needham are going out!

I was in shock for the rest of the day. I was supposed to go to the Bees game that night but the, uh, shall we say, “new couple” kind of discouraged me.

I went to the game anyway, and when I saw them “keeping each other warm,” instead of puking, I went over and said “hi” to them to show James I could care less.

Plus, I had someone else on my mind. You guessed it: Eric Bass.

When I saw him, he was surrounded by a swarm of girls. That upset me a little at first, but towards the end of the game, I gathered up enough courage, and joined the group of “Eric worshippers.”

He actually spoke to me!!! He actually stood next to me. 

At one point, I said something that he didn’t hear, and he had to lean in closer to me for me to repeat it to him. I had to really concentrate on not hyperventilating.

I was on cloud nine for the rest of the night. I really wish I wasn’t so hung up on him, though. About ten other girls like him– my chances don’t look too good.

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Chapter 3 – 9th Grade – Don’t Cry


On Friday, October 11, Irene McCray and Shannon Gray were in a terrible car accident. Irene died shortly after and Shannon is now in stable condition. Shannon went into all day surgery on Saturday and should be okay. They were both drunk.

When Rebecca Richards told me about it on Friday on the way to Robert James’s party, it just didn’t sink in. I was un phased by it. I guess there have been so many deaths lately, I’ve tried to block out the realization.

I didn’t hold out for long. By Sunday, I had the usual sick to my stomach feeling. I put myself in the family of the deceased’s shoes and got really depressed. One second, Irene is alive and bursting with life and the next, she is dead. How could they have gotten into a car drunk? Did they think they were immortal? I guess Irene and Shannon found out the hard way that they weren’t.

The sad thing is, Irene is never going to get a second chance and Shannon is going to have to live with that fact for the rest of her life.

Sometimes, life is so happy and perfect, and other times it is so horrible and unfair and useless. Irene had everything in front of her– everything. She just made one mistake and now what’s left? Nothing.

I just don’t understand how something as complicated as human life can end so abruptly; suddenly and without warning.

It isn’t fair.

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Chapter 3 – 9th Grade – Good-bye

When I look deep

into your eyes,

my heart feels nothing,

although it tries.

I wish I could return

the love I receive,

but it’s just not right,

that’s why I must leave.

The flowers you gave me,

are dried up and dead,

There’s so many things,

that haven’t been said.

I’m sorry this had,

to come to an end,

but time will heal;

time will mend.

Like a candle,

without a flame,

when the spark is gone,

it’s not the same.

As the rain,

pounds down on the glass,

I drift away,

and think of the past.

All of the good times,

I’d never trade,

all of the memories,

will never fade.

Nothing is left,

you can’t deny,

and as much as it hurts-

I must say good bye.


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March 3, 2014 · 11:47 am